Where can I learn to teach science using the outdoors?
May 24, 2010 9:11 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for college-level courses that focus on instructing teachers (either preservice teachers in training, or active teachers) how to use the outdoors in their science teaching.

I'm not looking for courses that are purely "outdoor education" that typically involve teambuilding exercises, ropes courses, hiking. Rather, the courses I'm looking for instruct people how to guide students (K-12) in learning science content or skills (like measuring/data collection) when they're outside--during field trips, for example.

Also, I would prefer if these courses were at "well-known" institutions-- aka the name should be somewhat familiar to another person. (I realize this is subjective, but if you are aware of any courses like this, please share!)

It is okay if the course is geared towards graduate-level students. Thanks!
posted by franc.o.bolos to Education (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Miami University and the Cincinnati Zoo have a program called Earth Expeditions that's geared toward teachers. They go every summer to an exotic place and teach community-based conservation to the locals, and then come back to their schools in the fall with new tools to teach their own students about conservation. Maybe not quite what you're looking for, but it's a pretty neat program. My dad has done it three times and gotten quite a lot out of it.
posted by coppermoss at 9:32 AM on May 24, 2010

The Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont offers programs like this for college students and active teachers. Might not meet your requirements for "well-known", and I've never done those particular courses so I can't vouch for them. But, I did one of their backpacking camps when I was in high school, and it was one of the greatest experiences of my teenage years. So it might be worth looking into...
posted by Jemstar at 10:41 AM on May 24, 2010

How about this program at the Child Development Institute, Sarah Lawrence college? I have a friend who works for them and I know they have a specific interest in the environment and learning.
posted by tallus at 11:52 AM on May 24, 2010

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